By Chengetai Zvauya
HARARE – Munyaradzi Kereke, Zanu PF MP for Bikita West, has appealed to the Supreme Court arguing that he has no case to answer in his alleged rape of a minor.
This follows High Court Judge Happias Zhou’s ruling ordering prosecutor-general Johannes Tomana to issue a certificate for the private prosecution of Kereke on charges of rape.
Kereke is alleged to have raped an 11-year-old girl at gunpoint at his home in Vainona in Harare four years ago.
Kereke’s lawyer James Makiya confirmed that his client has been granted the right to appeal against Justice Zhou’s ruling.
“The registrar of the Supreme Court Walter Chikwana had written to us to file our heads of arguments within 15 working days and we have done so,” Makiya said.
The ruling by Justice Zhou followed an application by the girl’s guardian Francis Maramwidze seeking the prosecution of Kereke claiming that he reported the alleged rape in October 2009, but police did nothing about it.
The complainant’s family lawyer Charles Warara of Warara and Associates also confirmed the latest development.
“I am aware that Kereke has filed an appeal to the Supreme Court against the ruling in the High Court and we are also going to cross appeal too,” Warara said. “We hope that the matter will be heard in the third term of the Supreme Court.
“The High Court ordered that we be granted a private certificate to prosecute by the prosecutor-general and it is yet to happen.”.
Kereke claims due process was followed by the investigating authorities and that he submitted a warned and cautioned statement to Borrowdale Police Station at the material time on the complaint that had been lodged against him.
“The first respondent’s submissions to this honourable court clearly show that the first respondent (commissioner-general Augustine Chihuri) fully discharged their constitutional mandate and saw no merit for investigating further, let alone prosecuting me,” Kereke said in his application.
“The prosecution of the alleged criminal activities within Zimbabwe is under the direct control and authority of the prosecutor-general of Zimbabwe who must discharge his duties independently. The prosecutor-general made extensive submissions giving reasons why he did not prosecute this matter being that lack of incriminating evidence.
“The first respondent and the prosecutor-general are empowered to deal with the investigation and prosecution of alleged criminal activities in Zimbabwe and I can in no way influence their competent decisions on any alleged criminal matter in Zimbabwe.
“Accordingly, any court seeking to impose that obligation to investigate and prosecute any alleged criminal activity within these officers and their independent institutions, let alone on me will be clearly infringing on their independent rights to maintain law and order as enshrined in the Constitution of Zimbabwe.” Daily News